The Guidelines offer tips and advise for primary and secondary teachers on the use of AI and data.
On 25 October, the European Commission published the second of the expected Guidelines for teachers resulting from the activities of the Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027). The topic of the first Guidelines was disinformation and media literacy. Now, the Ethical Guidelines on the use of AI and Data in Teaching for Educators has been published.
The use of artificial intelligence is growing in all areas of society, including education. The AI systems collect a large amount of data, on the basis of which they subsequently work. It is therefore necessary for students and educators to be able to work positively, safely, critically and ethically with AI systems and use their full potential, but at the same time be aware of possible risks and how to prevent them.
The manual is intended for primary and secondary school teachers, regardless of their previous experience with this topic. It does not lack definitions of basic terms, clarifications of the most common misconceptions about the use of AI, but also practical advice on how to use AI and data effectively in teaching.
Among the specific examples of the use of AI in teaching, the Guidelines mention, for example, the adaptation of teaching for pupils with specific needs or with different levels of knowledge, the individualization of teaching for pupils who might struggle with school failure, or the use of AI in the assessment of pupils. In addition, the Guidelines provide guidance questions for teachers focused on various areas, including essay assessment, use of chatbots or adaptive learning technologies.
Last but not least, the Guidelines should serve as a basis for discussion on the development of a competence framework for the ethical use of AI and data among teachers and for an overall increase in awareness of this topic. In terms of competencies, the Guidelines focus on 6 potential areas – professional competencies, digital resources, teaching and learning, assessment, active pupil engagement and supporting pupils' digital skills.
Following the Guidelines, the Commission now plans to publish a series of articles on the use of AI in education, as well as launch an online course for teachers on the European School Education Platform.
You can find more information at the European Education Area Portal, in the infographics, the factsheet and in the Guidelines themselves.
Promoting excellence and trust in AI is one of the European Commission's key priorities. Like the Guidelines on Tackling Disinformation and Promoting Digital Literacy, these Guidelines are also the result of the work of the external working group whose members are representatives from various fields: teachers, technology companies, civil society, journalists and other experts. The Guidelines are also accompanied by a final report, which contains the main conclusions and recommendations of this working group on this topic, including relevant key initiatives at European and national levels.
In addition to the Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027), the Guidelines are also based on other strategies and tools, such as the Ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI and The Assessment List for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence - ALTAI. The external working group also took into account the Artificial Intelligence Act and the proposals for the Data Act and the EU declaration on digital rights and principles.